She Walks Away (40)

In a dream a woman is walking down the street, heading south. We are in a foreign city. The homes and stores share a common wall along a narrow sidewalk where I stand watching her go. Mexico, maybe, or Italy. Greece. I begin to yell. “You—” I want to scream obscenities at her back. I stop myself. “You are—” I stop again. “Unkind,” I say at last, the word crisp inside my mouth, the taste of charred paper. Then I shout, “I love you.” She stops. She doesn’t turn around but looks over her shoulder. She scowls, annoyed. Conflicted, maybe. Impatient.

“Thank you,” she says. And then she walks away.

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